Let’s face it. We all have that “special” someone in our life. By “special” I mean disruptive. By “disruptive” I actually mean toxic.

Everything and everyone they touch seems to turn into something negative. I’m not talking pessimistic. I’m saying that everything around them literally turns bad.

I have run into few, and managed to slip by without infection, but one is all it takes.

Bad apple, black sheep, spoiled milk, yellow snow, (insert analogy here). There’s reason for these labels. There’s reason hit movies are made about such personalities. There’s reason drama surrounds them.

It makes me wonder if they know. Do they know people are giving them a chance? Do they know toleration is an extraordinarily mild way of describing what others are going through while around them? Do they realize their toxicity and just accept it?

It may sound like I’m ranting, and maybe I am a little, but I’m really intrigued by this personality trait. I’m very interested in the intrusiveness and wrecking ball effect these people have on our lives. I’m even more fascinated (somewhat) in why we tend to “put up” with them.

You know the horrific aftermath of a nuclear bomb, yet you patiently wait as it’s being created then are expected to look away while it is being dropped.

Is it just easier? What is going on here? Why?

Are we to blame?

I think it all comes down to a bit of naivety alongside our seemingly natural drift toward mediocrity. Sometimes it’s hard to be good to ourselves.

Either way it’s bad. So I invite you all to join me in first identifying these “special” ones, then happily deleting them from your life.

Surely a life size “UNLIKE” button will be invented soon…

James Bridges is the advertising director for the Shawnee News-Star.